Support the launch of The Painted Mug Cafe

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

Who we are

The Painted Mug Cafe is a new performance space and cafe that serves the queer community in Philadelphia. The founders are as follows:

Bonner aka Mo Betta
Diva Luvsit
Jae Heydet aka Sinn/Sinnamon
Joseph Juhase aka Esme Eventide (President)
Mae Rose
Parris Ryan (Vice President)
Sa’Mantha SayTen (Secretary/Media Director)
Sir Donyx
Taylor Plunkett-Clements aka Patti LuStoned (Go Fund Me Manager)
Vincent Scarfo aka Beary Tyler Moore (Building Manager) 
Zsa Zsa Dali

We are all members of the drag and burlesque performance communities in Philadelphia. We have been meeting and planning for success since February of 2021. We expect to bring more people onto the team over the summer, in positions such as cafe manager, event producer, legal consultant, and more.

Our Goals

The Painted Mug Café looks to uplift queer expression through service to our community, access to work, and opportunities for collaboration. We will thrive in a community that continues to reinvest in the QTPOC and disabled artists of our city. At The Painted Mug Café, we aim to provide a safer space for members of our community through a variety of programming and multiple opportunities for the exchange of ideas and art. We want the painted mug to assist in the security of our community by providing more visibility to its members.

What Sets Us Apart

Philadelphia is home to many wonderful venues that promote queer art. However, the painted mug will prioritize the following core values to promote growth for the queer community


We prioritize accessibility by meeting the following goals:  

–   ADA Compliance: We plan on remodeling the interior and exterior space to meet ADA standards for accessibility. We will be building a ramp leading into the building as well as onto the stage. In addition, we will extend the walls to provide mobility for wheelchairs and upgrade the public bathroom to meet ADA guidelines

–   Sober Events: In-house events at the Painted Mug will be predominantly sober. We wish to fulfill a need for a sober space for Philadelphia’s queer performance community. We plan to provide shows, workshops, and wellness activities that would best fit in a sober space, as opposed to a nightclub or bar. As we move further on, we plan to assist producers who would like to have alcohol at their events through a BYOB policy.

–   Digital Streaming: All of our shows will be live-streamed for folks who may not be able to visit The Painted Mug Café in person. Additionally, we plan to record all our events so people can enjoy queer art 24/7.

Co-Operative Environment

This space has been formed by Queer people, for Queer people. We will design our events to focus on inclusivity for the Queer community. We also plan to hire members of the Queer community to work in all aspects of our business from front-of-house café work to production work. In addition, we will be reaching out to local Queer artists to provide a space for performances and showcases.

The Painted Mug Café is also close to many local restaurants, dry cleaners, and clothing stores that we hope to make use of to make sure artists who work with us are taken care of. We will also have a “performer’s closet” on-site that will be stocked with essential items for artists (because nothing is worse than getting to the gig and realizing you forgot something). We are also looking at making some of these items available for purchase.

We want to continue to reinvest in our community with exciting opportunities for collaboration and the growth of our art.

Quality Assurance

Our space is by artists, for artists. Everyone on our team has years of experience producing quality entertainment and knows what is needed to make a show run smoothly. Our experiences managing established queer production and media companies such as Sinnamon’s Spice Rack, SarDonic Productions, Retrograde Productions, The Hum’n’Bards Theater Troupe, Beary Extra Events, SayTen Studios and more, make us uniquely qualified to handle this project. We will provide a collaborative experience that also values communication and mediation when needed. We are committed to providing quality entertainment while nurturing the talent that comes through the space.

How we will use your donations

All of the money from this fundraiser will go directly into adapting this corner storefront in South Philly into a multimedia performance space and cafe. We plan to make this space fully ADA accessible and install technology to stream live shows digitally. These are both very expensive, but very necessary undertakings to make this space accessible to the most marginalized in our community. 

Here is a list of additional things that these funds will go towards:

Building the stage area and remodeling the interior space with attention to ADA guidelines
Purchasing sound and light equipment to provide exciting performances
Installing appropriate lighting for both cafe and performance space
Renovation to provide a comfortable dressing room for all performers who work with us
Purchase of appropriate café equipment so we can provide superior service outside of performance times

And so much more!

We will be collecting the funds in a business checking account. We will be utilizing a local credit union to house these funds. This will be accessible by The Painted Mug Café’s President, Building Manager and GoFundMe Manager. In doing building renovations and skilled labor, we hope to utilize businesses owned by BIPOC in Philadelphia both before and after our grand opening.

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